Haryana Minister Sandeep Singh accused of sexual harassment gives up sports portfolio

Chandigarh: Haryana minister Sandeep Singh, who has been booked in a sexual harassment case, on Sunday gave up his sports portfolio, saying he has taken this step on moral grounds.

The development comes a day after the case was registered against him by the Chandigarh Police on a complaint of a woman junior athletics coach from the state.

Thirty-six-year-old Singh, a former Indian hockey team captain, has also been charged with wrongful confinement and criminal intimidation.

On Saturday, the Haryana director general of police (DGP) had set up a committee after the minister lodged a complaint against the coach, claiming she had tarnished his image.

Till the committee gives its report, Singh said, he, on moral grounds, was handing over his sports portfolio to the chief minister.

It was immediately not clear whether he has relinquished his portfolio or resigning from the ministry.

The minister, who had called for an independent probe into the matter, again dismissed as baseless the accusations levelled by the coach.

An order issued by DGP P K Agrawal on Saturday stated: "Complaint has been received from Sandeep Singh, Minister of State, Sports and Youth Affairs, Haryana...".

The "allegations in this regard are also circulating on social and electronic media", the order stated, adding that "the committee shall conduct an in depth inquiry into the subject matter immediately and submit its report to this (DGP's) office at the earliest".

The Chandigarh Police has booked Sandeep Singh and registered "a case FIR dated 31.12.2022 under sections 354, 354A, 354B, 342, 506 of the Indian Penal Code" at the Sector-26 police station here and and the matter is being investigated, a police spokesperson said.

The coach had on Thursday levelled the allegations of sexual harassment against Singh. She filed a police complaint a day later.

Singh, a former Olympian, has been booked under the penal code's sections 354 (assault or use of criminal force against a woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 354B (compelling her to be naked), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation).


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